Exclusive Interview: Gigi Rich

You may remember her from Team Gwen Stefani on The Voice, but now Gigi Rich is singing some songs of her own. Hailing from Freehold, New Jersey, she’s come a very long way from her first song at the age of 13. Her fiery red hair, stage presence, and voice instantly command an audience, and she’s gearing up to release more music soon!

We chatted with Gigi Rich about creating music, inspiration, and plans for the future.

When did you first realize that you wanted to start creating your own music? 

I was about 12 years old and still remember sitting down at the piano and putting a song together for the first time…it was exciting to create something.  I immediately fell in love with the writing process and from then on just kept writing, started taking classes and participated in co-writing sessions to better myself! I knew it was something I was passionate about…and it was one of those things I just knew I needed to keep doing.
 

How would you describe your musical sound? 

I would describe it as a mix of pop and R&B. Most of my influences are older soul, funk and R&B artists from the 60s and 70s, so it’s bound to come through in my writing. I fell in love with that era of music from an early age. I love seeing artists of today also drawing back to that time period. It was all about an infectious groove that carried through the whole song. That’s what I strive to put in my music.

Who or what do you draw most of your music inspiration from?

I draw most of my writing inspiration from my own life experiences. I don’t think I could write music any other way. It doesn’t have to be anything huge or life altering to spark an idea. Words pop out at me while I’m out all the time, or a hook line will come into my head that I’ll record into my phone to work on when I get home….anything can kick-start the creativity. I draw a lot of musical inspiration from James Brown, Al Green, Amy Winehouse, Chic, Prince, Michael Jackson…the greats from previous time periods.

How would you describe your experience of being a contestant on The Voice?

It was an incredible experience. It helped me understand a lot about myself and the artist I wanted to become. It gave me a lot of confidence about moving forward with my career. I left with a lot of good advice and a lot of solid friendships.

We hear you’re getting ready to release your EP All In My Head. What can we expect from the EP?

You can expect to hear a good mix of Pop/Soul. Each song has their own vibe, which I really love. They are all from a different point in my life, since this project took a few years to complete. It’s about where I’ve been or things I’ve felt over the past few years. I either wrote or co-wrote every song on the EP, so I was able to strongly influence the outcome, which is really exciting for me. I worked with some really amazing co-writers like Stefan Skarbek, who worked with Amy Winehouse….and Anthony Saunders, who is a super talented writer and producer. The EP is very personal and I’m excited to share it!

What do you think has been the most challenging part of putting All In My Head together so far?

The most challenging thing was ignoring what people THINK you should do, or what you should write about, or how you should sing. I know everyone means well when giving their opinion, but there are times when you just have to do what you feel is best for YOU and block out the ‘advice.’   At times it can be difficult to not have doubts but in the end, I stuck with my instincts and wrote what I felt….and am very happy with the outcome.

What was it like to put your own experiences into music for your first single, “Same Kind of Crazy”?

This song was really fun to write. Musically, it perfectly captured not only what I was feeling, but also the vibe I wanted to share with anyone listening to it. The lyrics came to me pretty easily and we just went with the flow.

What motivates you to keep pushing onwards in life?

I feel very lucky I found my passion, and that no matter what happens, I will always have something I love to share with the world. Through all of the ups and downs, music has always been very therapeutic for me. It’s given me amazing opportunities and introduced me to incredibly talented people, and it helps me only look forward and not back…and never dwell on the negative.

Outside of music, you’re also an avid supporter of organizations raising awareness about domestic violence and mental health awareness. Do you have any advice for those who want to get involved in their community?

It’s a very friendly and loving community. All charity organizations love just having the support of people who believe in the same thing they do. If I can give these organizations even a little more exposure I am so happy to do so. It’s all about sharing your talents with people who need some love or help and being able to brighten their day even a little bit. Giving back is so important. Just call up an organization you believe in and see what you can do to help, whether it’s volunteering or playing music…or just to say hello.  Let them know you care.

What impact do you hope your music has on your listeners?

At the end of the day, I want my music to make people happy and hopefully forget a problem they have even for that moment by immersing themselves in my music. Whatever they are feeling, to have a lasting impact on them when they listen is super important to me. If I can do that, then it’s all worth it.

What’s a milestone you’d like to reach in your career?

I have a lot of milestones. I want to release a full album and collaborate with some of my dream producers and writers! AND….get out on tour!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?  

I hope you love my EP.  I have such loyal fans…and I hope there are a lot more of them after my EP is released…lol. This is just the beginning.

You can find “Same Kind of Crazy” on Spotify and iTunes.

 

Are you excited to hear Gigi’s EP? Let us know by tweeting us at @CelebMix!

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Written by Katherine Jiang

Music lover and pizza enthusiast from Toronto.